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It’s hard to keep our thinking straight. There are so many ideas that come at us from every direction, it’s no easy matter to sift through these and hold on to the ideas that are true. But spiritually speaking, it’s very important that we make this effort. The devil does his work by deception, and if we’re not careful, we’ll be deceived and led astray to do his will rather than God’s. This does not have to happen, however. God’s truth is always available to us. And in the strength of this truth, we can overcome every evil thing that stands between us and our Heavenly Father. With God’s truth, we can defeat the devil’s attempt to deceive us.
In the search for truth, the thing that matters most is whether we truly desire to know and do the truth. To those who were trying to figure out whether His teachings were true, Jesus said, “If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority” (Jn. 7:17). Those who truly desire not only to know God’s truth but also to obey it will be able to discern the difference between truth and error. They’ll get the information they need to do what is pleasing to God. But if we don’t care whether we obey God or not, the chances are that we’ll not even recognize God’s truth when we see it, and we’ll be led further into confusion.
The devil is up to no good: his intent is to deceive us and destroy us spiritually. In Rev. 12:9 he is described as “that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world.” Since he does his work by means of falsehood, we need to be on our guard. Paul warned his Colossian brethren not to let themselves be deceived and defrauded of their salvation: “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col. 2:8). This week, let’s be reminded of both the importance and the power of truth. Just as the devil does his work by deception, God does His work by truth. Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (Jn. 8:32). Are we willing to search for and hold on to truth? The wise man said, “Buy the truth, and do not sell it” (Prov. 23:23).
Monday: John 8:44
Key Idea: Deception is at the very core of the devil’s character.
Questions for Family Growth: In this verse, what did Jesus say about the kind of being the devil is? Who are those about whom Jesus said that the devil was their “father”? What activity in regard to the “whole world” is attributed to the devil in Rev. 12:9?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 25:3.
Tuesday: Genesis 3:1-7
Key Idea: Deception is how the devil leads us into sin.
Questions for Family Growth: Describe the chain of events that led up to Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God. What lie or lies did Eve believe that motivated her to rebel against God’s will? In 2 Cor. 11:3, what fear did Paul express concerning his brethren in Corinth?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 25:4,5.
Wednesday: Colossians 2:4,8
Key Idea: We should beware of being lied to and cheated out of our salvation.
Questions for Family Growth: In general, what does it mean to “cheat” or “defraud” someone? In v.4, what does Paul say it is possible for us to be deceived by? Consider Eph. 4:14. How can we keep from being tricked by the devil’s deception?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 25:6,7.
Thursday: 2 Timothy 2:24-26
Key Idea: Repentance means that we “come to our senses” and return to the truth.
Questions for Family Growth: In vv.25,26, what has the devil succeeded in doing to some individuals? In the case of such individuals, what needs to happen? Why do we need to be gentle and patient with those who have been “captured”?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 25:8-10.
Friday: John 8:31,32
Key Idea: It is by truth that God sets us free from the deceptiveness of sin.
Questions for Family Growth: In the war between good and evil, how can the devil’s captives be set free? What kind of “weapons” are to be used by the “soldiers” of Christ? What did Paul say in 2 Cor. 10:3-5?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 25:11,12.